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Russian cars already in Finland “go out” – this is how the new station works

At midnight, between Friday and Saturday, passenger cars registered in Russia are stopped at the Finnish border.

Last Friday, the European Commission decided to tighten the interpretation regarding the import of Russian cars into the European Union.

The import ban has already been implemented.

The new interpretation also applies to temporary entry: passenger cars registered in Russia cannot be brought into the EU at all, not even when travelers come by car. But the exception is EU citizens who live in Russia and want to visit their homeland.

– This does not apply to EU citizens and their family members permanently residing in Russia. The Foreign Minister says that diplomatic vehicles are also not affected, or if the entry is for humanitarian reasons Elena Valtonen (Samel).

– Valtonen says passenger cars registered in Russia and already in Finland must be exported by March 16, 2024 at the latest.

Cars remaining after the specified deadline cannot be impounded by customs, but it is a violation of penalties from a legal standpoint.

The rules also apply to Russian persons residing in Finland. Valtonen says the exception for EU citizens abroad is made so you can visit your country of origin.

In the first week of September, about 5,000 people crossed the border. Of these, 75% have dual citizenship, residence permits or family ties. The rest is done with visas, a percentage that will decrease further as old visas expire and restrictions actually tighten, says Valtonen.

It is estimated that car traffic at the border will decrease significantly.

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Ryska bilar på väg över gränsen in Valima in September 2022.

All Baltic states already tightened their interpretation earlier this week and, as a rule, do not allow Russian passenger cars to cross the border. It applies explicitly to passenger cars, not buses or motorcycles. Diplomatic cars are also exempt.

In Estonia, the ban took effect on Wednesday. Valtonen says Finland wanted to investigate the consequences carefully and make sure border countries in particular followed the same practice.

In the past, travel to Finland was strictly limited, and Russian tourism has practically been banned since September last year.